Ultimate guide: how to take screenshots on your Mac

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How to take screenshots on your Mac

New to macOS and don’t know how to take screenshots on your Mac? If so, you’ve landed on the right spot! On macOS, you can use its built-in Screenshot app or keyboard shortcuts to capture your screen. In this article, you’ll learn how to take screenshots on your Mac quickly and easily!

3 methods to take screenshots on your Mac

There are more than one method to take screenshots on macOS. You don’t have to try them all. Just pick the method that works best for you.

  1. The built-in Screenshot app
  2. Snipaste
  3. Snagit

Use the built-in Screenshot app to take screenshots

In macOS Mojave 10.14 and later, you can use the built-in Screenshot app to capture your screen. If you just need to capture your screen and share it to others, the built-in Screenshot app is convenient enough to complete the task.

To take screenshots or screen recordings using the Screenshot app:

  1. On your keyboard, press Shift – Command – 5 to launch the Screenshot app and display the tools.
  2. Click a tool to select what you what to capture or record.
Capture the whole screen
Capture a window
Capture a potion of the screen
Record the entire screen
Record a portion of the screen

Click Options if you want to modify the advanced settings. For example, you can specify where to save screenshots. You can also choose to set a time delay or show the mouse cursor when taking screenshots.

The Show Floating Thumbnail option, once selected, will display a thumbnail of the screenshot or recording you just took in the bottom-right corner of the screen for a few seconds, so you have time to mark it up, drop it to a document, an email or a Finder window, or share it before it’s saved to the directory you specified.

To take screenshots using keyboard shortcuts:

If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots, here are the frequently used keyboard shortcuts:

Keyboard shortcutfunction
Shift-Command-3Capture the entire screen
Shift-Command-4Capture a portion of the screen
Shift-Command-4-SpacebarCapture a window or the menu bar
Shift-Command 5Open the Screenshot app
Shift-Command-6Capture the Touch Bar

If you want to customize these keyboard shortcuts, on your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Shortcuts.

Note: On macOS, screenshots are saved as .png files and screen recordings are saved as .mov files.

Use Snipaste to take screenshots

If you need to edit the screenshot you just took, you may need to use a more efficient tool.

Snipaste is a simple but powerful screen capturing and snipping tool that allows you to pin the screenshot back onto the screen.

In other words, after taking the screenshot, you can easily add texts, lines, arrows, frames and blurs to the screenshot right on your screen (without opening the editor)!

Use Snagit to take screenshots

First launched in 1990, Snagit is created and distributed by TechSmith. Believe it or not, up to now, over 39 million people world wide use Snagit! Snagit may be the best screen capture and recording software for content creators.

Snagit enables you to quickly capture your screen, add additional context, and easily share with coworkers. With Snagit, you can:

  • give quick, simple answers
  • organize and save captures
  • make step-by-step instructions

Snagit is so powerful that it provides over 15 sharing outputs. With it, you can use images, videos and GIFs to share idea, give feedback and communicate more efficiently.


That’s it! Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ve learned how to take screenshots on your Mac. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop a line in the comment area below. Thanks for reading!

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